- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Worried about a Lassa Apso

September 9th, 2007, 01:45 PM
I have somewhat of a moral quandary and am seeking some input from dog lovers. One of my patients - and I actually do home visits sometimes (we no longer call them house calls, lol) if a child is really ill and does not need to be hospitalized but the parents need extra tutoring in caring for a sick child with a port o cath and other wonderful (said in jest) items we use to treat children.

This child is 7 - a yr younger than my niece actually. The family has a lassa apso and as much as I like 99.9% every dog I have ever met (which is a larger % than people, lol) this dog worries me. The other day when I was there, he snapped at the child who was doing absolutely nothing to him By snapping, I mean growling, baring his teeth.... The mom picked up the dog and hugged it - which to me is saying to the dog "Oh yes, you did the right thing to snap at the child.) The dog came before the child I think so his place was usurped and while i do not want to give him anthropomorphic tendencies, I wonder about jealousy.

Should I be concerned? It's not my place to tell her what to do with her pets but the child's health is my concern. Should I tell her she should have disciplined the dog - in a proactive way I mean. I suspect the dog may not have been trained properly.

I also wonder if I am not on high alert since we just had a situation where a child in Truro (small NS town near Hfx) was injured when she was attacked by a small bulldog (think it was a bulldog) and the dog was deemed dangerous put down and no one won in that situation.

Any thoughts?

September 9th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Yes i would be worried.
They need to correct the dog not pick it up.doing so is telling the dog what it is doing is ok.
They need to show the dog that their child is it's pack leader

If this behavour continues this dog will bite.
I have been working with my OB who who specialize in aggressive dogs.
One of the dogs were working with is like that.if he could eat me he would.

September 9th, 2007, 07:59 PM
Based on your description CK, I think your instincts are on the money. I'm sure you'll find a non-confrontational way to let the parents know that they are reinforcing an aggressive behaviour which may well escalate if it's not checked properly and quickly. Maybe coming up with a "You know, just the other day..." anecdote would help introduce the discussion.

September 10th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Thanks so much for the replies. I do think the anecdotal approach may be good - I can cite the lassa apso in my own family (sil has one, a cutie and very well behaved but also well trained!) or another one. But this dog has been alpha for so long that he thinks he is alpha above the child - or so it seems - and that is NOT good!

September 10th, 2007, 07:40 PM
You could also recommend Tenderfoot's training DVD (or a book etc.) to them at the end of your anecdote "And you know so&so worked wonders with her dog with this training package"